A Brief History of the Television Critics Association

Like its name suggests, the Television Critics Association consists of people who are responsible for covering TV programming for various publications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a significant percentage of them are critics, thus explaining their collective name. However, it should be noted that there are plenty of journalists as well as others in their ranks, meaning that they encompass more than just critics. Regardless, the Television Critics Association is much the same as other organizations in the sense that it has seen a fair amount of change over the course of its existence, which is to be expected of something that has managed to survive the test of time.

How Has the Television Critics Association Changed Over time?

First and foremost, the Television Critics Association was founded in 1978 for the purpose of bringing the critics together with the people behind the TV programming that they would be examining. As a result, the organization conducts two press tours on an annual basis, with one happening in the summer and the other happening in the winter. Given the timing, it should come as no surprise to learn that the summer press tour is intended to provide information about the fall season, while the winter press tour covers mid-season replacements as well as the new TV shows that are expected to start up as January comes around.

In the past, the two press tours were necessary because most of the critics who were responsible for covering the TV programming for various publications did not live in the centers of the entertainment industries, which are Los Angeles and New York City. As a result, the press tours served an important function by bringing them into contact with the people behind the TV programming, which provided them with the material that would be used to produce the articles that would be released over six-month periods. However, telecommunications has become more and more powerful in recent decades, as shown by the popularization of the Internet as well as the rise of social media. As a result, what were once secondary functions have now risen to the forefront, whereas once predominant considerations have faded in contrast, meaning that nowdays, the press tours are more valued because they provide the relevant parties with a chance to generate interest in their TV shows. Of course, there are still plenty of critics who use the press tours for their initial purpose, but their numbers are less now than what they were.

Of course, other aspects of the Television Critics Association have changed as well. For example, it is interesting to note that it now hosts the TCA Awards on an annual basis, which are meant to highlight examples of outstanding achievement in TV programming in the relevant period of time. However, the TCA Awards did not exist until 1985, which was when they started up in Los Angeles. Moreover, they too have changed over time, as most awards of their kind do at some point in their existence. Summed up, the Television Critics Association is a thriving organization even though it has seen constant change over the course of its existence, which to be fair, is as it should be.

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